Adventures in almost getting arrested

So, you’d think having the content of my entire blog stolen would probably be the most unfair thing that would happen to us all weekend, right?

You would be wrong. It wasn’t the most unfair thing that happened all weekend. The most unfair thing that happened was when Terry was stopped by the police, just for having a nice car. Because that totally makes sense.

We were on the way to Edinburgh for a barbecue when we saw the police car. It was heading in the opposite direction, but as soon as the cops noticed us they did a big, dramatic U-turn and started following us. Exciting! I love a chase, me. Not that it was much of a "chase" though: Terry, who was driving, had noticed them turn round, and had been watching them in his rear view mirror, so he knew they were following him. Actually, Terry pretty much always knows when the police are following him, because the police pretty much always are. It’s the car, we think. The car is old, but it is a bit flashy looking. Terry and I, on the other hand, are not even remotely flashy looking, so the police normally assume we stole the car. Many are the times Terry has been pulled over for no particular reason (OK, four are the times he’s been pulled over, and one of those times he was speeding), just so they can give it the once over and phone Interpol, or whatever it is that the police do in these situations.

But I digress. They pulled us over about sixty seconds after they started following us. Despite this, as soon as the cop came to the car window he decided to be all dramatic, and said, "You obviously don’t use your mirrors enough – we’ve been trying to pull you over for ages." This, my friends? Was a dirty, rotten lie. I hate that.

The reason they had pulled us over? They said the rear lights on the car were "illegal" and, indeed, "dangerous". This was news to us, because the car had been MOT’d just four days earlier. Yes, last week Terry went through the torture and fear that is an MOT-Day. When he drove away, £200 the lighter, he had no idea that he was driving away in a "dangerous" and "illegal" vehicle. "Why would the car have passed the MOT if it was dangerous and illegal?" said Terry to the cop. "Pshaw!" said the cop to Terry. "An MOT does not check whether your vehicle is legal or not! Tut!" Then he took Terry away to his car and kept him there for twenty minutes. I remained in the car with a pile of marinated pork and seven barbecue spears on my knee, thanking Christ that they hadn’t stopped me and checked my tax disc twice, because, whoops, although I bought a new one, I didn’t actually remember to put it on the car.

Now, this situation sucked, and the police knew it did. They tried really hard to find something else wrong with the car, going over it with a finetooth comb (Note: not really. They just used their hands.) and seemed to be really gutted when everything was in order. After all that, they didn’t even fine Terry: instead, having told him that he should not trust the MOT test centre to tell him whether his car is legal or not, he has to take it to the MOT test centre within the next 21 days, and get them to tell him whether it’s legal or not. So, just to clarify: he must take his car to Kwick Fit and get them to sign a piece of paper saying that they reckon the car is safe to drive. This would be the same Kwick Fit he took the car to last week, and who gave him a piece of paper saying that they reckoned it was safe to drive. Words fail me. (Note: not really, again. Or I wouldn’t have written this mammoth blog post, would I?)

So, this has annoyed me quite a bit. My feeling – and I am rarely wrong about these things – is that the cops were just bored and decided to pick on Terry because they saw him driving a nice car. Also, even although it is something I’ve always suspected, I am also surprised to find that the MOT test is not, in fact, a test to see if there is anything wrong with your car, but is a test to see if there’s any way the garage can arrange to take money from you. I feel a bit ripped off, really.

Still, at least the barbecue was good.

7 Comments

  • Erik (Sorrento) says:

    I imagine that your area is the safest place on earth with absoultely no crime if a law enforcement officer spends so much time on you and Terry while hoping to find something illegal. I can picture the officer’s daily report that day: “Today I coudln’t find anything going on. Heck, I even pulled over a couple in a nice car and checked everything and couldn’t find anything wrong. Either this is a perfect crime free city or I’m a complete failure as a law enforcement officer.”

  • Whatever next…you should have offered him a raw kebab and stuck
    it somewhere rude when he was bending over…

    Was probably just jealous and wanted a closer look at the car to salivate..

    Glad the barbecue was good!

  • Stephen says:

    Geeeez. That’s one of those things where you wonder “is it worth the bother of reporting them?” isn’t it? Probably not – but *boy* would you like to….

  • Amber says:

    Erik – I WISH it was that crime free! I can’t help remembering the time I called the police SEVEN TIMES about the mini motorcycle that was being driven on the pavement and they “didn’t have time” to come out. Good to know they DO have time for nonsense like this, though!

    Lila – Hello! Hehe, I WAS very tempted to do something bad with the barbecue skewers, I must admit.

    Stephen – I was all for complaining, but I suspect it probably wouldn’t be worth the hassle and would probably just make them pick on us even more. Gah.

  • Terry says:

    If I had a penny for every time the police turned around and started following me I reckon I would have about 25p by now. The most annoying thing I find about the police is that they have the ability to be 100% condescending 100% of the time. Now I get that 99.99% of the nation are thick as shit and need to be condescended to, but hey, I am the 0.01% and thus the police should not be condescending to me.

    Incidentally I took the car back to the MOT centre today, I would tell you the story of what happened but I think I will leave that one to Amber as she is far more literate than this garbling Greek boy.

  • Jen says:

    Hello Terry! Nice to finally “meet” you!

    Ok, that so wasn’t meant to sound as ‘crazy-stalker’ as it did-eek.

    Anyway, where was I?

    Oh yes: can not believe you were taken aside for twenty minutes! It really does make you wonder just how *busy* the police must be….not that I’m anti the police (woo woo wooo)-quite the opposite in fact-but when you consider the above and then consider the state of alert the united kingdome is on: priorites, much?

    Amber-have v.funny image of you sat there with your marinated pork!

    x

  • Terry says:

    Hey Jen, nice to “meet” you too :) Amber has mentioned you before so I am aware of Jenna from the blog, who used to have a little now you’ve got a lot :D I too have never had anything but respect for the police but recent events have started to change that. Consider the fact that after someone tried to attack Amber with a stick the police took 8 hours or so to turn up vs the fact that they had 30 minutes to waste looking at my car, issuing me with no points, finding nothing wrong and giving me some incorrect information.

    Anyway rant over :)

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